Wednesday, November 10, 2010

books books books

Unless I suddenly stop reading, this year I will surpass the number of books read in previous years since I started keeping track at Goodreads.  I have been so much more interested in reading than in writing.  I blame the Kindle, among other things. I don't recall feeling the reading bug bite me so bad since I was an awkward kid in junior high. In August, I read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series in 2 weeks.  Some of us who've been attending the Read the Classics series didn't want to take a summer break, so we read and discussed Absalom, Absalom!, Heart of Darkness, and The Sun Also Rises.  Especially notable from my Hollywood Library book group were The Echo Maker and The Sparrow, though we've been reading some great books all along.  Here's this year's schedule.

More recently, I got to meet the author of Lean on Pete.  He's also the singer/songwriter for Richmond Fontaine. He was sweetly authentic.  The several nurses who attend our group were stumbling over each other encouraging him to keep going with his current project about nurses. I told him as soon as his other books were available for the Kindle, I would buy them.  He'd certainly like them to be, but apparently his publisher has other ideas.  They are available in the UK, but not the US....grrrr.  This turns out to be the only book for my book club that I couldn't read on the Kindle.  Seriously, the device has helped me be a better book group leader.

I also got to see Margaret Atwood and Ursula LeGuin as part of Portland Arts and Lectures the same month we read Oryx and Crake.  As soon as I finished that, I immediately read the parallel sequel, Year of the Flood, which, it turns out, I really should listen to as well, as songs are key pieces of the book.  Finish a book at 1 am, it's all too easy with the Kindle to buy the next one in 30 seconds.

I will say though, that because I have fully embraced my preference for reading books on the Kindle, I have returned many library books.  Often I would say all those books with all those due dates were like a ball and chain.  What a burden bounty can be, eh?

So I was thinking, I must have spent a lot more money on books, right, now that, if I have the choice, I read it on the Kindle?  I received my first Kindle for my birthday in May 2009.  (Oh yes...I did buy the "latest generation" of the Kindle, and I am happy I did.  My first one went to a good home.)  I looked at the money I spent on books from May 2008 to May 2009, and then from May 2009 to May 2010.  I actually only went from $270 to $336.  The immediate past 12 months, however, add up to $570.  All those Stackhouse books....  So yeah, you could say the Kindle has rekindled my love of book-reading.

Everyday Zen, I read twice over, as I co-led a class on it at my Zen Center. The first class did not record, but you can listen to the other classes.  Download Class 2, on Chapter 2, here.  Class 3, on Chapter 3. Class 4, on Chapters 4 and 5.  The final two classes haven't been uploaded yet.  We had a handout for the can find it here on Facebook. (and no, you don't have to belong to Facebook to see it.)  As far as preparing for the class, I bow again to the Kindle.  It was so easy to highlight, jot notes, review and print notes and highlights to discuss with my co-teacher and our mentor, and consequently prepare for the class.

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